His, Hers, and Ours Finances with Suze Orzman

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Suze Orzman while she was enjoying her vacation in the islands. I must say she is an in-your-face kinda girl when it comes to your finances. She is committed to the idea that each member of this union must have their own money and contributes to the whole according to their personal financial income and expenses. 

Suze believes that it is essential for everyone to understand that if you are being intimate with someone than you should know everything about their finances, especially since you know ALL about your partner. Why do we ignore the importance of this? I had to giggle; Suze was very clear that intimacy in your bed must translate to having intimacy with your partner’s finances.

On women and their finances, Suze did not hold back. She talked about what we all already know. We take care of and nurture everyone in our household, neighbors, friends, pets, plants and ignore ourselves. The very nature of women is to nurture, says Suze. I was trying hard to hear her and I thought I would fall out of my chair when I asked her twice what she had just said and her reply, “ You can FICO first, then Sex…” understanding yours and your mate’s FICO score will provide the right amount of security in your relationship. Most people don’t even discuss their finances with their mates and Suze says “it’s irresponsible, and most people don’t really know their partners, and haven’t discerned whether it’s love or lust, she says, unless you know how they manage their money, what bills do they have and their FICO scores. These important details will determine what type of home you can purchase, cars or trips are within your reach or not.”

Suze’s voice went up a couple of octaves when I discussed the person with the money rules the household, and she said “after marriage it’s way too late to discuss finances, it’s irresponsible for two grown people to not understand exactly how much money is coming to the relationship and how much is protected. Too many people who spend a percentage on the household bills may still have more money to play with than the other, at which point it becomes the percentage being spent after everyone’s personal bills have been paid. One partner should not have the ability to wine and dine himself and friends if the other’s income is not competitive. Most couples want to take their monthly bills and pay 50/50 on a particular bill yet if you both are making $10,000 per month and the other partner has more bills it isn’t equal. Equity is key in these relationships – particularly if you hold all the money.

Suze believes that as you are going through the courting period you must have conversations surrounding you and your mate building a financial life together and whether that will include purchasing a home, vacations, college tuition and other important investments. It needs to be very clear during this stage of your lives together.

Suze says, “you must have open and brutally honest conversations around a pre-nuptial agreement. Both parties must have their own attorneys and noted that if your partner wants to ignore or indicate that everything is going to be all right – these are red flag conversations. Each person should view this as being in a state of love and not hate; if you are hesitant or afraid to broach the subject, yet you make love and have orgasms with this person, but can’t discuss a pre-nep, you are facing financial cancer. And, quite frankly the other side of this is how do you manage this cancer that metastasizes when you won’t deal with actually getting your own lawyers and setting into place a financial pre-nuptial at least six months to one year prior to your wedding.

The other point that Suze made that rocked my socks was when she spoke about her relationship. Both she and KT were both millionaires, bringing their households together and the importance of having honest conversations.

For more information please visit: Suze Orman website and find the nearest workshop to attend or download some tools.

Marsha Reeves-Jews
Marsha Reeves Jews is the Editor-At-Large for World Bride Magazine and is a wedding planner at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum in Baltimore, MD and for private clients.

Ms. Jews is the host and Executive Producer of Keep It Moving w/Marsha Jews, a weekly radio show on WEAA 88.9 FM, a national public radio station on the campus of Morgan State University.

Ms. Jews was the President/COO/Associate Publisher for Career Communications Group, Inc. (CCG), a ten million dollar multimedia company. As Associate Publisher, Ms. Jews managed the day-to-day operations for all aspects of two publications: the Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine and Hispanic Engineer and Information Technology magazine; co-produced and designed the conference workshops, panel discussions, awards ceremonies and plenary sessions for The Black Engineer of the Year Awards Ceremony and Conference; and was co-founder and co-producer of Women of Color Technology Awards and Conference.

As former Executive Director of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre Foundation of Maryland, Inc., Ms. Jews was responsible for the overall management of the statewide organization and for presenting the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s annual Baltimore performances, community outreach, fundraisers and the year-round AILEY/Camp for at-risk middle school children.

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